Park Your RV at the Trailhead and Go!
Many RVers take their rigs out to not only be closer to nature but to delve straight into it. For them, being close to excellent hiking and backpacking trails is the whole point of camping.
Campgrounds that have quick access to some of the best hiking trails offer many benefits. You don’t have to battle for parking (or pay) at a trailhead, you can access the trail whenever you want, and access portions of the trail others may not see.
Some cons of these campgrounds are that these trails can be very popular and finding a campsite near them may be a bit more challenging.
10 Best RV Campgrounds Near Hiking Trails
These 10 campgrounds are right next to or a short drive to some of the nation’s best hiking trails as well as a few you may never have heard of. So whether you want to hike just a few miles or a few hundred, these campgrounds make a good base to start an adventure.
1. Harpers Ferry/Civil War Battlefields KOA
Not everyone can be an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker. However, if you want to experience just a small portion of the 2,200-mile-long trail, stay at the halfway point of this legendary trail that meanders through 14 states.
The Harpers Ferry/Civil War Battlefields KOA in West Virginia is just a few steps away from the AT. In addition, Harpers Ferry is a popular spot for thru-hikers to rest up before tackling the second half of the trail.
This campground features all the amenities you expect from a KOA including free breakfast, a swimming pool, and a convenience store.
2. Bullards Beach State Park
The Oregon Coast Trail can be overshadowed by its longer counterparts, but this stunning trail offers what many don’t: excellent Pacific Ocean views. This 362-mile trail follows the Oregon Coast and passes by dozens of campgrounds.
It’s difficult to pick just one, but Bullards Beach State Park offers a lot for the RVer. There are over 100 full hookup sites, yurts for rent, flush toilets and showers, and dump stations. Access to the trail goes right by the park into the small town of Bandon.
3. Grand Canyon North Rim Campground
While many crowds flock to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim (and its trails), the North Rim of the canyon is a lot less popular. In fact, some may argue that views are even better from this part of the park.
Several trails, including the Bridle Trail and the Arizona Trail, can be accessed quickly from the campground. However, there are a few cons to this campground. The North Rim is closed during the winter and while there are plenty of sites, there are no hookups.
4. Many Glacier Campground
The Many Glacier Campground is located just steps away from one of the most beautiful hikes in Glacier National Park, the Grinnell Glacier Hike.
It can be difficult to obtain a site at the campground without advanced reservations, but if you do, you will be among some of the most stunning scenery in the country. Like many national park campgrounds, there are no hookups, but there are restrooms and potable water.
5. Blackwoods Campground
Just steps away from this campground in Acadia National Park is the south entrance to the Cadillac North Ridge Trail.
This trail features stunning views of Acadia, forested hills, and the coastline of Maine—all within four miles. The campground has non-hookup sites for RVs, a dump station, and is only 15 miles from Bar Harbor and its famous seafood.
6. Buena Vista KOA
Many hikers dream of bagging a “14er” and Colorado has 58 of them to choose from. These peaks over 14,000 feet offer a challenge to anyone who wants to up their hiking game.
The Buena Vista KOA is located close to six of these peaks (the tallest is Mount Harvard at 14,423 feet) and features 46 RV sites, glamping tipis, and a cafe.
7. La Wis Wis Campground
Made famous by movies and books, the Pacific Crest Trail is not an easy trail to access just off the main road. You may need to hike into or drive to a trailhead to see portions of this 2,650-mile-long trail.
It’s a good thing that the La Wis Wis Campground in Washington is just a short drive from the White Pass section of the trail. This campground has over 100 sites surrounded by old-growth forest. The campground is also close to Mount Rainier National Park and its hundreds of miles of trails.
8. Rancho Sedona RV Park
Head to any location in Sedona, Arizona and you will hit an amazing hiking trail. One of the best and most beautiful within town is the Munds Wagon Trail.
The Rancho Sedona RV Park is about a five-minute drive or 20-minute walk to the trailhead. The RV park also has around 80 sites, outdoor games, and quick access to nearby Oak Creek and downtown Sedona.
9. Yellowstone Trail RV Park
Contrary to the name, this RV park is not located in Yellowstone National Park. However, it is centrally located to the famous national park as well as the Wind River Range and Grand Teton National Park.
Located in Pinedale, Wyoming, this full hookup park offers quick access to dozens of trails in “the Winds” as well as the Continental Divide Trail. It also has a secure bathhouse and community fire pit.
10. Coleman Lake Recreation Area
The Pinhoti Trail stretches 171 miles through Alabama and parts of Georgia. It is said to be a warmup trail for people who want to take on a longer thru-hike.
However, no matter what part you discover, you will be surrounded by wilderness areas. The Coleman Lake area has both a Pinhoti trailhead and a campground with 39 electrical sites, ADA accessible sites, and a 21-acre lake.
Planning your trip
Of course, there are many more destinations with great hiking trails. Plan your travels with the RV LIFE Pro tools to get RV-safe directions, read campground reviews, and find other points of interest in the area.
Christina is a writer and designer who has written about camping, tiny houses, and alternative living since 2008. She recently traded in her teardrop trailer for a 13-foot fiberglass trailer from 1982.
Always nice to read about places to camp near hiking trails. Hoping to get to Oregon and Washington this summer.
John Curtis says
I would have included the Prairie Creek Redwoods State park as there are miles of trails in old growth an Redwood forest accessible from the campground (including some of the biggest and tallest Redwood trees). You can also hike to fern canyon (featured in The Lost World: Jurassic Park).